Saturday, January 31, 2015

Update on Robin's First "A Gatsby Summer Afternoon" dress

Roger and I at a subsequent 4th of July Picnic, before the dress fell apart

Gatsby has come and gone, but Lisa is forcing me to post. As readers may recall, my first attempt at a rereleased Simplicity pattern from that era ended up in the muslin trash heap as a total disaster. So it was back to pattern shopping. I ended up with Reconstructing History's 1930s Ladies' Day Frock with Jacket #1317 and 1930's Ladies Princess seamed Slip which you can look at here:  The site won't let me copy a picture from it.
I added an inch to the hips and all went well with this one. Some sewing techniques, like folding under the seam allowance and top stitching it down, were new to me but easily done once my modern brain got over it. The pattern has one omission in that it did not have an opening in the back neck, although the picture showed it.  I just put one in.  Lisa draped a better jabot for me (Thanks, Lisa) and that was that. Lisa also decorated my hat with stuff we bought in the Los Angeles fabric district when we were on a Costume College Shopping Safari. That stuff on the hat is actually a crinoline strip!
Here's the final product.  This dress fits me better than anything I've ever made. Oh, and the shoes are from American Duchess.  You can't see them, but they are great.  Love her shoes. The gloves I found on a trip to Europe in a fabulous glove shop that Roger spotted (He's good that way).
Post script to the post - the first time I had washed the dress, the seams started coming apart, even though I finished each edge. The dress is now unwearable and I am sad. I made a new Gatsby dress but it is so ugly I can't bring myself to write about it yet, let alone put up a picture. Oh, well.....C'est la vie!

Regency Dance Dress and Turban Finally Finished! - Robin

 Here's the final product of my first Regency foray. After making the stays and the dress last year, I had yet to finish the closings and the hat. Such a procrastinator! But as we have a Regency Ball coming up at the end of February, I got myself in gear and finished.

The dress is from Simplicity Costumes 4055, unmodified except for fit. The back is not historically accurate as I was only interested in getting something together to dance in. I ended up with too much back and overlapped it with double buttons.  Originally I had used hooks and eyes, but they popped open the minute I moved. The bow closes with hook and eye so it will hang correctly while dancing.

Now that my hair is l-o-o-ng, I really don't want to style it because all the curls will fall out the minute I sweat, so a turban was the answer.  But which one?? The answer came from a Costume College class Lisa took - Easy Regency Turban. However, mine was NOT that easy.  Here's why......
The back of the non-historic dress
The not-so-easy Regency Turban

starting the weave
the body of the hat
laying out the stripes
 I made the material for the turban out of ribbon bonded on to Pellon. The stuff I had was a bit stiff but I did it anyway. For the band,  I did it in stripes and machine embroidered the edge lines.  For the body of the turban, I wove the ribbon into a plaid that Lisa called "Sort of a Space Invader Plaid". This was a technique I saw in Threads Magazine a while ago and had wanted to try on something.  Evidently this should NOT have been the project to try it on.  This turban is supposed to be soft, malleable.  Mine is decidedly NOT. At first, all I could think of was "OMG, I look like a deranged Baker!", but as I sewed on the feathers and the jewel (from a hair scrunchie), I began to feel kinder towards it.  I will get some fake hair to make into tendrils to attach to the inside of the hat to frame my face, but as of now, it is wearable.  And by the way, the dog did not eat the pattern until after I had finished the turban. C'est la vie!

embroidery on the stripes

1830's corded petticoat - L - HSF Challenge #1

Did my my first HSF/HSM challenge!  I've been lurking forever.  It seems the challenges line up maybe sorta good for me this year.  We shall see how I do.  Anyhow, here it is, 1830's corded petticoat.
No pattern.  100" wide which is likely wider than it needs to be, but I'm pretty tall so I want to consider proportions.  I finally used cotton organdy which I now love more than anything. I really waffled about the cording.  I decided to use cotton cord (3mm clothesline from the hardware store), and enclose it in a facing.  True to every warning I read, the layers slip while sewing.  I finally resigned myself to having the facing a bit twisted and some bunching between layers.  I looked at a lot of pictures and read about a lot of how many cords and how high to cord.  I thought I could get away with about 30 rows, but ended up with 45.  This was determined by weight, how it looked as I worked, and by the overwhelming tedium of sewing interminable circles.  Just to make myself believe that there was a lot of thoughtfulness in this, I made each section 3 rows less than the section below.  My sections are (bottoms up) 15, 12, 9, 6, 3.  I have every intention of making a regular organdy petticoat to wear over this.  Just not right now.

During pinning and marking my cat would climb inside, and since he objected to being moved, there are already some little holes in it.  Just like a real antique!

Cotton organdy is very light and crisp.  If it gets a little wobbly, a quick iron sorts it right out.  Now I want to make all the pretty Gibson girl dresses.  Don't hold your breath.

Sewing cording in circles really makes me stabby, but if that wasn't enough, with just 5 rows to go, I was stricken by food poisoning/stomach virus that threatened to turn me inside out.  I've spent the last few days living on orange Gatorade and white rice.  No coffee.  So it's really a surprise that no family members were killed in the making of this petticoat.

Next up, I need to finish the WW1/Outlander mashup and put that to bed (for now).  And repair the Attack on Titan cosplay because we are going, en masse to 'Escape the Walled City'.  After I do all the laundry.